On this 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we think of our friends and landmarks on the Gulf Coast and hope to see them on the other side of Hurricane Isaac. Meanwhile, we pause to remember another one of our landmarks lost seven years ago today, the Father Ryan House in Biloxi.
The rather dry National Register description of the house doesn’t mention the most distinctive and obvious character trait of Father Ryan, the palm tree growing through the front steps. But the bed and breakfast that operated in the house in its later years still has its website, which is bittersweet in its use of the present tense:
The Father Ryan House Bed and Breakfast Inn is a National Historic Landmark located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Built in 1841, it is one of the oldest remaining structures on the Gulf Coast and the one time home of Father Abram Ryan, Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.
Situated on the beautiful white sand beach of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the House and grounds have been painstakingly restored and furnished according to that period.
Each room and suite has its own unique character and charm. You may choose to enjoy the spectacular view from the Jefferson Room and pamper yourself with a whirlpool bath or relax in the stately elegance and romance of the Father Ryan Rooms which are furnished with exquisitely hand crafted beds and antiques dating back to the early 1800’s.
Today only the palm tree remains, shorn of its stairs.